Probationary Patrolman Patrick Cotter

Probationary Patrolman Patrick Cotter

New York City Police Department, New York

End of Watch Monday, August 4, 1913

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Patrick Cotter

Patrolman Patrick Cotter was shot and killed while attempting to arrest a suspect who had just fired two shots at a female after a dispute.

Patrolman Cotter was walking his beat in the vicinity of East 188th Street and Belmont Avenue in the Bronx when he heard the sound of gunfire. Patrolman Cotter ran in the direction of the shots, where he observed the suspect fleeing with several citizens in pursuit. Patrolman Cotter joined the chase, and before long, he was right on the heels of the suspect. In front of 2416 Hughes Avenue, Patrolman Cotter lifted his nightstick to strike the suspect, but the suspect turned and fired two shots, hitting Patrolman Cotter in the chest.

An off-duty Patrolman heard the shots, raced from his house, and was able to apprehend the suspect.

Patrolman Cotter was taken to the hospital but died before he arrived.

The 22-year-old suspect was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to death. The New York Court of Appeals ordered a new trial, and he was again sentenced to death. Another trial was ordered by the New York Supreme Court. On December 22, 1916, he was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to five years.

Patrolman Cotter was a United States Army veteran and had been a member of the New York City Police Department for six months, and his Probationary period was to end in just six days.


  • Age 27
  • Tour 6 months
  • Badge 978
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Sentenced to 5 years

arrest attempt, foot patrol, weapons violation

Most Recent Reflection

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Patrolman Cotter,
On today, the 110th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice-not just for your Community but for our Country as well when you served with the U.S. Army.


United States Border Patrol

August 4, 2023

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